A Salvation Army official, charged with, of all things, media relations, has ignited a firestorm over the charity's stance on homosexuality: Appearing on an Australian radio show, Major Andrew Craibe was asked about a Salvation Army doctrine that decrees gays "deserve death." Responded Craibe in a story picked up by the Atlantic, "Well, that’s a part of our belief system."
When the hosts of the program, which addresses gay issues, asked if "we should die," Craibe replied: "You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief." A "Salvationist Handbook of Doctrine" says that "those who practice (homosexual acts) deserve to die." But the charity itself is quickly backing away from Craibe's remarks, saying the passage refers to a "spiritual death," and that the Salvation Army does "not believe, and would never endorse, a view that homosexual activity should result in any form of physical punishment."